Parking Garage Design

Approved for VRE Station

The Board of Supervisors has approved design plans for a four-story parking garage at the Burke Centre station served by Virginia Railway Express.

The $28.8 million garage will have 1,293 spaces and 233 street-level spaces nearby. There will also be an area for buses adjacent to the station, plus sidewalks, elevators, stairs, bicycle racks, a covered walkway from the garage to the train platform, lighting, landscaping and a rain garden.

The county, which owns the Burke station, is expected to advertise for construction bids in June.

Connolly Favors Expansion

Of Artificial-Turf Program

Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) is asking county park officials to consider using money from bond sales to help finance additional artificial-turf fields throughout Fairfax.

The county recently launched a program that allows Fairfax sports organizations to apply for matching funds of up to $483,000 to develop artificial-turf fields.

At least one field will be built as part of the program this year. However, Connolly said at Monday's board meeting, if the staff can find ways to leverage other existing county resources, additional fields could be built.

Connolly asked that county officials report back to the board with a plan to make park bond funds available for the installation of more artificial-turf fields.

Air and Space Museum

Anniversary Discounts

Parking fees will be reduced from $12 to $5 Sunday at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center to mark the air and space museum's second anniversary.

In addition to displays from the Smithsonian's flight collection, the center offers museum store shopping, IMAX film entertainment, simulator rides, casual dining and a coffee shop.

As part of the celebration Sunday, a drawing will be held for five of the new aviation-themed, limited-edition M&M candy dispensers created exclusively for the museum.

Visitors who spend $50 or more at the Udvar-Hazy store will receive 10 percent off their purchases.

All proceeds from Udvar-Hazy Center parking help pay for museum operations. Fees are charged per vehicle, not per person.

Admission is free. The center is off Route 28 in Chantilly near Dulles International Airport and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Coats for Needy Available

At Supervisor's Office

The annual winter coat closet in the Hunter Mill area is open for children and adults in need.

The closet, co-sponsored by Reston Interfaith and Supervisor Catherine M. Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill), distributed more than 500 coats and jackets last year.

The coat closet is in Hudgins's office at the North County Government Center, 12000 Bowman Towne Dr. in Reston.

Donations of new or gently used coats and jackets are needed and can be dropped off at the office from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Boxes are available for after-hours and weekend donations.

Volunteers are needed to help clients select coats, and to greet donors and sort donations.

The closet's hours of operation are 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays, 5 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Feb. 11. For more information, call 703-478-0283.

Adult Education Program

Accepting Registrations

The county school system's adult and community education program has begun registration for its winter and spring classes.

The course catalogue has been mailed to Fairfax residents and also is available at registration centers, county libraries and online at www.fcps.edu/adult.htm.

The classes are designed to help individuals meet educational, career and life-enrichment goals and are held in a variety of settings, including in traditional classrooms, online and in one-to-one tutoring sessions.

New courses and programs for 2006 include: introduction to computers in Vietnamese; the art of making friends; preparation for the Graduate Record Exam and SAT; and Czech and Portuguese language instruction.

New online classes include: adult education instruction certificate program, spoken-language interpretation certificate program, expanded after-school elementary enrichment classes and English for the workplace (advanced level for nonnative speakers of English).

For more information, call 703-227-2229.

Santa and the Elves

Coming by Motorcycle

Area law enforcement officials, led by the Falls Church Police Department, will conduct a "Santa's Ride for Children" on Wednesday.

The public is invited to see Mr. and Mrs. Claus, their elves and other holiday characters at the Falls Church Community Center at 7:15 a.m., as they arrive on motorcycles to pick up donated gifts for children in local hospitals as well as for those who are needy.

Joining the city's Police Department are the Fairfax County Police Department motorcycle squad, Vienna Police Department, Fairfax County Sheriff's Office, Fairfax City's Police Department and Virginia State Police.

Donations of unwrapped new toys, games, books, stuffed animals and gifts are needed for distribution to children on Dec. 15 and 16. They can be dropped off in the front lobby of the community center, 223 Little Falls St., no later than noon Tuesday.

For more information, call 703-248-5282.

Hiring Sessions Set

For Summer Program

The Rec-PAC (Pretty Awesome Children) program will operate at more than 60 elementary schools throughout the county next summer, county park officials announced.

Rec-PAC, which will run on weekdays from July 5 through Aug. 10, is a structured recreation program for elementary school children that includes games, team sports, nature activities, crafts, storytelling, field trips, sports festivals, talent shows and supervised play sessions.

Employees are needed to fill several vacancies. Open hiring sessions will be held at the Pennino Building, 12011 Government Center Pkwy., Suite 1050, from noon to 5 p.m. Jan. 5, March 14, and May 15 and 23.

Employees will be assigned to a site and will work daily from 8:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., or from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at some sites.

A special open hiring session will be held from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 6 at Mount Eagle Elementary School in the Alexandria area. For more information, call 703-324-5514.

-- Compiled by

DIANE MATTINGLY

and STEPHEN C. FEHR